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May 23, 1998


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Love at first slight

Dhara Kothari

Twinkle Khanna and Salman Khan in Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai. Click for bigger pic!
This story could qualify as being different if it hadn't opted for some hackneyed ploys, like the old flame dying out and the new one.... Well, we're getting ahead there, aren't we?

Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai is about one Sooraj Dhanrajgir (Salman Khan), a rich playboy, lightening the financial burden of his industrialist grandfather (Anupam Kher), spending the stuff on wine and women.

Grandpa calls back Sooraj to do some work back home, beginning with a hotel project in Ooty. There, true to character, he chases the first pretty girl he can find, which happens to be Komal (Twinkle Khanna).

He convinces her that she is his childhood sweetheart and sweet talks her into falling for him. But soon she sees him for the rotter he is and walks off.

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But for once the man is smitten beyond infatuation and knowing she runs a boutique in a Bombay hotel, goes like a Brut-scented tornado through the hotels of the city till he locates her. But again, no dice.

So grandpa steps in to ease the proposal through. Komal agrees, on condition that the playboy give up other women, go on the wagon, quit smoking, go straight... In short, behave like he isn't.

Sooraj, not quite the man he was, falls in line, and the priest is just lining up a good day to bung the duo into holy matrimony when Sooraj returns home one day to find a boy, Kabir (Aditya Narayan), claiming to be his son.

Tests prove that Kabir is indeed his son. Only if Sooraj could remember the mother... Fortunately Kabir has a photograph which Sooraj helps identify the women he had a fling lasting a few months. He brings the boy back, identifying him as his friend's child. But Kabir does not like Komal and vice versa. The boy is also unhappy that Sooraj never really loved his mom.

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And that's where thing's stand till on the wedding day...

Ah, again we get ahead of the story.

Well, different, wouldn't you say? But Honey Irani always had this penchant for stories about 'relationships', one that worked well being Aaina. But the story lacks the depth to carry the burden of her intent.

And here, her protagonist, though dissolute in many ways, has the strength to face the fruit of his illicit labours. Salman has played a man capable of taking on trouble, not the hero who dances well and decimates the ranks of ugly-looking junior artistes. Also, by laughing at the comedian's one-liners, his character comes through as more human than that of other heroes.

Aditya Narayan shows promise too though Twinkle shows her limitations, though that could be put down to the role.

The dialogues by Javed Siddiqui don't get involved, letting most of the emotions be portrayed rather than expressed in words. But the storyline has been stretched a good deal more than it should have.

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Close-ups have been used effectively to show emotions and long shots for the many scenic shots from Ooty, London, Austria and Switzerland. But scenes like one against a patently artificial sunset messes up the mood at times.

Weak editing brings up flaws that could have best been left hidden. There are more glaring flaws, as happens when a rendezvous at an Ooty restaurant, ends up at one that is clearly in Bombay. There is some jar in the flow due to sudden shifts in locations.

The music by Jatin-Lalit is melodious, though three songs show stand out -- Pehli pehli baar, Is dil mein kya hai and O jaana, na jaana.

On the whole, Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai is entertaining enough to draw audiences. But, somehow, despite its faintly experimental theme, it is unlikely to be marked as a milestone in Indian cinema.

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